Dearborn Democratic activist Fred Hoffman takes on the topic of voter suppression, warning voters not to be distracted or detracted from exercising this sacred right.
Everybody knows that the more voters that turn out, Democrats benefit. . . . That said, it has long been a silent but obvious principle of "Suppress the Vote" (STV) Republican politicians to "game" the system in ways that tamp down participation. Occasionally, they will even admit it, as the Pennsylvania GOP leader did when he said new so-called "voter fraud" legislation would help elect his Presidential ticket - or when a former GOP congressman from Oakland County talked about suppressing the Detroit vote in order for his party to win statewide. - - - DEMOCRATS HAVE LONG STOOD for increasing participation by expanding voter registration efforts, expanding early voting and opposing the avalanche of voter suppression laws the STV Reeps have been introducing across the country. The GOP argues that it wants to limit "voter fraud" but independent sources can only cite 10 cases in the last decade -- hardly a huge problem. What the STV Republicans really want is to scare, intimidate and detract voters so that they either stay home or turn away from the polls on Election Day. That's the rationale for the ID laws and the Michigan silly check-box confirming citizenship. That's why Florida officials are trying to close down early voting on the Sunday before election, where many churches had organized "taking souls to the polls" and why Ohio officials, as well as those in Georgia, West Virginia and Tennessee, voted to roll back early voting and go back to long Election Day lines. . ..Here in Michigan, our GOP legislature passed a long list of restrictive voter laws, including a pair so egregious that Governor Snyder vetoed them. - - - IN ADDITION TO VOTER SUPPRESSION efforts, the STV Republicans and their allies seemingly have a strategy of queering the process by bombarding the airwaves with negative ads intended to "turn voters off" and keep them home on Election Day. The GOP isn't alone in gaming the system, but this year they have turned it into an art form here in Michigan with cases of petition signature fraud, changing the rules mid-stream on reapportionment and, of course, that outrageous Grand Rapids party-switch fiasco. - - - SO WHAT SHOULD CITIZENS DO? - - - First, register and second, decide you will not let ANYTHING prevent you from voting. Don't be distracted by the ads. Don't let voting inconveniences prevent you from casting the ballot that so many patriots have worked for and so many veterans have fought for. . . . I HAVE CONFIDENCE in the voters and hope that all of the STV Republican efforts to suppress the vote will make Americans so upset that they turn out in record numbers this fall, even if it takes extra efforts to do so. And if they do, I think it will be a good day for the Democrats.
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